Jun 14, 2016
Jewish Federation, JCRC of South Palm Beach County Leaders Anguished and Outraged by Horrific Mass Shooting in Orlando
We at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and its Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) are anguished and outraged by the act of terror and hatred this past weekend at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. The most deadly mass shooting in the United States in memory, this tragedy has claimed the lives of at least 49 innocent people and wounded another 53. It marks the largest loss of life by a terror attack on our soil since September 11, 2001.
We join with communities worldwide in grief as our hearts and prayers go out to those mourning loved ones or recovering from their injuries. And we stand in solidarity with all whose lives have been shaken to the core by this attack that targeted LGBTQ individuals on Latin Night in what they counted on as a safe place.
The shooter also appears to have been inspired by radical Islamic views, claiming the murders for ISIS. As Jews, from our history through the present day, we understand all too well the depths to which prejudice and hatred can go when fueled by the extremist ideology and rhetoric that are now so pervasive. From radical Islam to domestic discourse, expressions of hatred, blame and intolerance are becoming commonplace and increasingly accepted as part of routine discussion.
This massacre is one of the latest profoundly disturbing datapoints on the far too populated tragic timeline of attacks against the cherished values of Judaism, the United States, and the entire free world. These barbaric assaults on innocents – here, in Israel, in Europe and elsewhere around the globe, are an increasingly used strategy of jihadists seeking to spread hatred and fear. Part of a war against our core beliefs of freedom, civility, pluralism, and equality, they attack not only individuals and targeted groups, but also humanity.
Acts like this call on all of us to be resolute in our fight against terror and resilient as we commit to maintain our daily lives, even in the face of the threat it represents. They call on us to stand together and work together to fight back. And they remind us that we must be ever vigilant.
We join in the calls for our leaders who value freedom and civil society to rise to this challenge of our time. We implore them to unconditionally condemn this intolerable bloodshed in the strongest possible terms. As governments, as communities, as institutions and as individuals, together we must work to end these horrors.
As always, we ourselves remain vigilant. Security on the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County campus is our highest priority, and serves as a model for Jewish Federations throughout the country.